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Losing The Kids Stuff Makes Them Behave Like Children

, , , , | Right | April 15, 2019

I am an 18-year-old, part-time sales assistant for a very high-end store that does women’s and children’s fashion and accessories. My branch specialises in female occasion wear; this includes for little girls from six months. Prices are steep. Our best sellers are the little girl items. They make up almost 70% of our profit, primarily because we’re the only store who actually do occasion kids’ clothing in the location. It’s gotten to the point where we’re asked to stock the boys clothes, too, which we feed back to our head office.

Head office decides to make a change. They decide to remove all kids’ clothing from our store. We argue about it, and they say they’ve looked at sales of the shops around us — the ones that don’t even stock kids’ clothing — and feel kids’ clothing won’t do well here despite the fact we’re always above target. We’re extremely angry about the decision, and our branch manager points out this fact, but they don’t listen and have it taken out.

Our customers are pretty upset by it, and we give them the customer complaint number and email as we literally have zero say. We advise that they’ll only change it back if customers complain, and that it must come from them via those contact details.

All customers so far have been fine with this and promise to call and email. One customer, an older lady, gasps when she goes to the previously-kids’ section, coming straight over to me to ask what happened. I explain and give her the complaint number and general spiel of what to do. She’s upset, and explains she was coming in to buy dresses for her granddaughters as they are being bridesmaids for their mum. Since she knows the exact sizes, style, and colour she needs, I tell her she can order them — a facility we have in the store — but the customer isn’t sure as the wedding is two weeks away. My branch manager overhears and says that she can put in a code to give the older lady same-day delivery for free. She is thrilled and goes with my branch manager, though she tells me she’ll make a complaint with the number I gave her while stating that the staff were super helpful.

I’m glad the issue is resolved, and I go back to what I was doing. A few minutes later, a different customer, a younger woman in her 30s, comes up and asks about the kids’ section. I explain the situation and she goes completely off on me, yelling at me, asking how dare I get rid of the kids’ stuff, and telling me that I must hate kids and that I’m discriminating against mothers. I keep trying to explain the procedure, but she won’t listen. She’s absolutely irate. I try to help but she just continues to scream at me.

Suddenly, “WHY DON’T YOU SHUT UP AND LISTEN?!” is yelled from across the store. It’s the previous customer. The younger woman splutters, but the older lady isn’t having any of it, telling the younger woman how she should mind her manners and how stupid she is if she thinks a sales assistant has any say in it. The younger woman looks abashed and quiets down, so I ask her if she needs kids’ items today or tomorrow. She says no, she just wanted to browse it; in fact, she doesn’t even have kids and admits she just is in a bad mood. The older lady scolds her again for causing such a ruckus for no reason, so the younger woman leaves.

I thank the older lady for helping out; she responds that she knew we couldn’t do anything to stop her. My store manager knocks 70% off her purchase, our maximum that can be authorised.

Eventually, our head office puts back the kids’ stuff, including boys’ stuff this time, claiming it was an “admin error.” That “admin error” lost us thousands and resulted in me getting screeched at by some woman who just wanted to make someone else’s day bad. On the plus side, the older lady regularly comes in for a chat and a browse.

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